tv [untitled] March 30, 2012 10:30am-11:00am EDT
much detail in the treaty spelling out in great detail exactly what states need to do because i think the more detail that's in the treaty, the less likely we'll get a successful outcome from this. it's not to say you can't have any substance in the treaty. the more you want to put in there in terms of details, the harder it is to -- the commas do matter to people. at the prep come, we had a week of discussion on what the language in the resolution actually meant relating to how the conference was going to take its decisions and what consensus actually means. so there are unresolved issues out there. but i agree in terms of the difficult subjects, scope, criteria, transparency, national implementation, then also i think we need to look at incentives for states joining the treaty. for the exporting states who already have in place strong export control systems, the
treaty won't really require them to do that much. it won't impose that much of a burden on them. but it is going to be burdensome on states which don't have the national control systems for building those things and putting this em in place and they're going to be need to be convinced that they actually want to do this and the treaty will need to provide some mechanism for assistance for them doing it but the assistance is not going to be assistance ala the cwc or bwc. this is going to be assistance for capacitiable in the treaty for building up the capacity to implement the arms trade treaty. the biggest problem in july four weeks is not much time at all. i worked on the conference on disarmament between 1994 and 2005. so i was there when they negotiated the cbt. that was a negotiation that took three years. and the cd meets for 24 weeks a year. you're talking about 72 weeks of meetings that produced the
nuclear test ban treaty. we have four weeks in july to produce an arms trade treaty. the subject that is dealing with the arms trade gets at the ability of states to defend themselves. that's one of the most basic security concerns states have. it gets at really sensitivicious. it's going to be challenging to negotiate this. the time is going to be a big problem. but again, i'm hopeful. >> it's also going to be the major arms treat at this time that will be concluded for a long while. so i'd like to thank all our panelists here for providing us with very comprehensive view of both transand arms transfers and the difficult ways to try to control this at the diplomatic level. i'd also like to thank my colleagues or helping organize this event, marshall keller, shannon zimmerman and zack toll. i would say you know, stay tuned.
we have other events like these and go to our website, it's www.w.cipri.org/north america. we'll hope to see you soon and you can inscribe yourself on our mailing list. thank you very much. and thank you very much to paul, matt, rachel, and bill. slap. [ applause ] >> and thank you all for coming. >> president obama has several campaign nents burlington, vermont, today. followingra, at a fund-raiser luncheon, the president will speak at the university of vermont. watch live coverage starting at about 2:35 this afternoon on
c-span. and back here in washington, the clinton global initiative is kicking off their fifth annual student conference this evening with a discussion on the power of public service. founding chair and 42nd president bill clinton will host a panel that will include former secretary of state madeleine albright being hosted by george washington university. live coverage at 7:30 eastern on c-span. >> follow c-span's local content vehicles throughout the weekend as book tv and american history t velupillai prabhakaran explore the history and literary culture of little rock, arkansas. saturday starting at noon eastern on book tv on c-span2 it, author glif stockli on the little known riots of at least 209 african sharecroppers. >> you had calls going all up and down the miss mitts delta and saying that blacks were now in revolt.
and the next morning between 600 and 1,000 men, white men, pour into phillips county to begin shooting down blacks. >> and on american history tv on c-span3, sunday at 5:00 p.m., former student bruce lindsay on integration and north little rock high school. >> it's as if they know what's going to happen but we don't know the what's going to happen. we don't realize what's going to happen when we go up those steps but they seem to because the crowd is with us now. momentum is behind us. and they are pushing us up the steps. >> the stories and others from c-span's local content vehicles in little rock, this weekend on c-spanand 3. >> starting sunday, see the winners in this year's c-span student cam video documentary competition on the theme "the constitution and you," as middle and high school students everyone across the country
showed which part of the constitution was important to them and why. we'll air the top 27 videos each morning at 6:50 eastern on c-span and you'll meet the students who created them during "washington journal" each day. for a preview of the winning videos, check student camp org. student camp org. >> the united states last year stopped funding for unesco after u.n. countries voted to admit palestinian as a member. the u.s. is for bids any u.n. agency that recognizes any group as a state that is not already recognized as such. susan rice last week said it's not in the administration's interests to end funding to the science and education programs. despite the law, president obama's 2013 budget seeks funding and requests legislation to wave the restrictions. ambassador rice testified for just over an hour and a half. >> i want to the welcome everyone to today's hearing. ambassador rice, thank you for being with us today to give testimony and answer our questions on the
administration's budget requests for the united nations and international organizations. i know it's been a very challenging year since you last testified before this committee. we commend you for your efforts to get the international community to pressure iran to stop pursuing nuclear weapons. you've also pushed the u.n. to assist countries in the middle east and north africa that are facing difficult transition i know there are many issues you're working on that never make the front page. unfortunately in spite of your hard work, there have been many disappointments at the u.n. over the last year. the conflict rages on in syria with russia and china unwilling to join the international community unless we hear differently from you this morning and we want to hear your thoughts on what, if anything, can still be done to put pressure on those countries to act the situation is very troubling and it's difficult to explain to our constituents why the u.n. can't come up with a coordinated response to a crisis of this magnitude.
we've also watched with concern as the palestinians go around the peace process to seek recognition as a palestinian state. administration officials made it known to the palestinians that the u.s. wos veto a statehood resolution at the security council but then the palestinians simply changed their strategy and went to unesco. we're still concerned that the palestinians will try to get their status elevated in the general assembly and in other u.n. agencies. we'd like an update on what you expect will happen over the next year on that issue. as you know all too well, the u.s. is now withholding our contribution to unesco because of the bleens actions. that's in accordance with u.s. law. many members of congress believe that cutting off these funds is the reason the palestinian authority stopped further recognition efforts, yet the administration has requested the authority tort waive the provisions of law that required unesco's funding to stop.
we want to hear more about this waiver proposal. in addition to many concerns remain about the effectiveness and transparent sit of u.n. organizations. the administration's report on united states contributions to international organizations shows that $8.58 billion was provided to the u.n. and other international organizations. fiscal year 2010. i was very concerned to learn that while the u.s. is the largest u.n. donor, we have limited access to information to ensure that our funds republican spent wisely and effectively. as a result, provisions are now included in the state foreign operations appropriations bill that would require the secretary of state to withhold funds if the u.n. and its agencies are not making progress on transparency and accountability measures. we expect to see real changes and want to hear how these new requirements will be met. another troubling development is that the subcommittee recently
learned about the possibility of a significant cost overrun for the u.n. headquarters renovation project. as you know, language was carried in the last two the appropriations bills to limit the costs of the project and minimize the burden on the united states. we continue to expect you and the state department to work together with the u.n. to finish the project within funds already appropriated for those -- that project. i want to close with a topic mentioned at the beginning of my remarks. and that's iran. the head of the iaea recently said that he had serious concerns thanks iran may be hiding secret atomic weapons. the weapon work which while iran has now signaled a willingness to return to talks, i'm very concerned about that the time for talk has passed. this promise cos simply be another stalling tactic. we want to hear what actions
you're taking at the u.n. security council to increase pressure on iran. in closing ambassador rice, i want to thank you and the u.s. delegation stationed in new york and around the world. we appreciate the sacrifices that are made on a daily basis and we thank you for being here and now i'll turn to ranking member loy for her remarks. >> good morning, ambassador rice. i join with chair woman granger in welcoming you today, and i thank you for your service to our country. in the years since weise last had you here before our subcommittee, much has happened. from the crisis in syria to the many famine in the horn of africa to the on going transition in afghanistan, the u.n. has been deeply involved in matter ans of great importance to the united states and the global community. in a world with threats do not stop at borders and at a time when americans are tightening
their belts and looking to us to make every dollar count, the u.n. plays an indispensable role in advancing our interests and defending our values. while the u.n. is not perfect, it delivers can real results for every american taxpayer by advancing global stability. the benefits are not always obvious to the casual observer. but the u.n. is so fundamental to our efforts overseas that if it did not already exist, we would have to create it. through our membership in the u.n., we augment the response to emerging challenges and global crises with the added resources, expertise and international legitimacy of the u.n. membership in the u.n. makes our country more secure and more prosperous and it supports u.s. efforts to advance democracy, human rights, health and development. i look forward to hearing from you about how the president's budget but requests will promote our national interests and maintain u.s. global leadership
through our continued work with the united nations. specifically, i hope you will address how the u.n. is working to address the violence in syria. iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. efforts by the palestinians to seek statehood outside of a negotiated settlement with israel, i hope you will highlight both successes that you have had over the past year as well as your strategies for overcoming continued challenges. last year, you spoke brp reforms the u.s. is pushing at the u.n., including increased budget discipline, improved transparency, and better protection for whistleblowers. i hope you'll provide an update on those efforts as well as discuss concrete steps the u.s. is taking to promote additional reforms and the u.s. mission's work to make the u.n. more efficient, effective and transparent across the wider u.n. system, including u.n.
funds, programs and specialized agencies. from well-known organizations like unicef and the world health organization to lesser known groups such as the international telecommunications union and the world intellectual property organization, u.n. specialized agencies and affiliated organizations provide a wide range of services to the world community. i hope you will highlight the importance of these organizations to u.s. economic and security interests as well as what the proposed 6% decrease in the fy 2013 requests to our voluntary contributions would mean for these organizations. from the start of the 112th congress, we have seen repeated attacks on the u.n. from legislation demanding impossible changes to proposed funding cuts that would undermine the u.n. and negatively impact u.s. leadership.
unfortunately, i anticipate similar efforts this year. the u.n. cannot deliver the results we want if we starve it of the resources it needs. moreover, it's in our interests to ensure that the rest of the world continues to pick up almost three-quarters of the tab for u.n. activities. i believe if we treat our financial obligations under the u.n. charter as optional, others will too resulting in increased bilateral assistance needs, less opportunity for multilateral coordination and most important and far greater costs than blood and treasure. on the opening day of the u.n. general assembly session in 1983, president reagan noted that "our goals are those that guide this very body. our ends are the same as those of the u.n.'s founders who saw to replace a world at war with one where the rule of law would
prevail, where human rights were honored, where development would blossom, where conflict would give way to freedom from violence." these words remain true to this day and i look forward to continuing to work with you to support robust u.s. leadership at the united nations. thank you. >> thank you, miss lowey. ambassador rice, you'll have your full written statement placed in the record, of course. so please feel free to summarize your statement if you choose. >> thank you very much. chair woman granger, representative lowey, members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today. i'm grateful for your continued support of our efforts at the united nations especially in this time of fiscal constraint. on behalf of the administration, i am pleased to request full funding for fiscal year 2013 for three accounts.
the contributions to international organizations, the contributions to international peacekeeping activities, and the international organizations and programs account. as both democratic and republican leaders have long attested, a strong and effective united nations is one of our best tools to tackle many of the world's problems. the u.n. is not the sum of our strategy. but it's an essential piece of it. in response to the horrors in syria, the united states and our partners at the united nations have supported an immediate halt to the violence and negotiated peaceful transition and a responsible democratic process. despite russia and china twice vetoing security council action, the united nations general assembly and human rights council have repeatedly and overwhelmingly condemned the carnage and the united nations
has played an important role in supporting arab league efforts to end the crisis, including through the joint appointment of special envoy kofi annan. in libya, the united states led the united nations to prevent gadhafi from massacring his own people. to end illicit nuclear weapons programs, the united states pushed the security council to impose the toughest sanctions ever on iran and north korea. as the president has made clear, we will prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. and as long as iran fails to meet its international obligations, the pressure will build. the united nations played a critical role in supporting the creation of a newly independent south sudan. in cote d'ivoire, the u.n. stopped a strong man from stealing an election and ensures the democratically elected president took office, thus
preventing a return to civil war. these are just a few examples of how u.s. leadership at the u.p. u.n. is producing tangible results for the american people. but despite important progress, much remains to be done. that is why is we're championing greater budget discipline and comprehensive management reforms that will make the united nations more efficient and cost effective. in december, we led a successful effort to cut by 5% the size of the united nations' regular budget. the first reduction in 14 years and only the seconds in the past 50 years. the obama administration has also succeeded in holding peacekeeping budget levels effectively constant for the past three years. to increase transparency, we secured a commitment from the heads of all new york-based u.n.
funds and programs to disclose publicly online all internal audit reports starting this year. third, excellence. an insistence on delivering real results and upholding the highest standards. and fourth, integrity. a more credible united nations that lives up to its founding principles and values and does not tolerate individuals or states that bring dishonor to the institution. this brings me to another important priority. every day we stand with israel to oppose hostile efforts to
challenge israel's legitimacy and security at the united nations. we remain vigilant on the palestinians' unilateral bid for u.n. membership and enhanced status. there is no shortcut to statehood. tough issues can only be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties. and we always fight against anti-israeli resolutions in the general assembly, human rights council, and elsewhere. attention to the long-standing legislative restrictions on paying our assessed contributions to u.n. specialized agencies that admit palestine as a member state. these laws run counter to u.s. national security interests because they enable the palestinians to determine whether the united states can continue to fund and lead in
u.n. agencies that serve a wide range of an important american interest. cutting off funding for agencies like the world health organization, the iaea, and the world intellectual property organization would deal a major blow to global health, nuclear nonproliferation, and the protection of american businesses. our participation in unesco is also valuable. therefore, the administration's budget request includes funding for the u.s. contribution to unesco and a statement of intent to work with congress to find a solution that would waive restrictions on paying our financial contributions when doing so is clearly in our national interest. we appreciate greatly this committee's long-standing efforts to help us meet our commitments to the united nations. staying up to date with our contributions has helped us
deliver some of the most significant accomplishments to advance u.s. interests and promote u.n. reform in more than a decade. the active and full support of this committee remains essential to our efforts. i thank you, and i welcome your questions. >> thank you very much. we'll go as we have before, in seniority as you were seated in the -- in this room. i'm going to ask a question having to do with what you just said but also referring to senator clinton when she told the committee that she wanted waiver authority to allow funds to go to unesco and other agencies. and we took the position we did from this subcommittee in our bill to put everything we could possibly put toward the
palestinian authority staying at the peace table and working it out with israel. so my question would be, if there is going to be a ask for a waiver, a waiver put, what specific conditions do you think should exist before a waiver should be granted? >> madam chairman, let me discuss both unesco specifically and then the broader problem we have. with respect to unesco, unesco is an organization that president george w. bush rightly determined the united states ought to be part of. why? because, as he basically put it and we understand it, it's essentially an anti-extremist organization. it does important things like holocaust education. educating girls and women in places like afghanistan. providing literacy training for police and other personnel in places like afghanistan and elsewhere. it is doing essential work from girls education to tsunami
warning that serve u.s. interests. and we think we ought to be part of it. now, the palestinians did something reprehensible that we strongly opposed and that was to try to take a shortcut to membership of unesco prior to a negotiated agreement with the israelis. we oppose that. we think there ought to be consequences for that. but the consequences should not be to put a gun to our own head and force ourselves ultimately into a position where we can no longer fund programs that are in our interests, and indeed, ultimately will lose our vote in this organization. meanwhile, our israeli allies and partners continue to provide certain voluntary contributions to important unesco programs that they value, including holocaust education, a program called the sesame project in jordan, and we believe and expect that after a one-year hiatus in 2012, they will resume their contributions to unesco so that they are not liable to lose
their vote as we will be losing our vote. so we need to look at this and ask ourselves, how do we put practical brakes on the palestinian efforts to march through these agencies that deter the palestinians without harming our interests more than we harm the palestinians? now, the waiver is there because the funding for unesco is in the budget because we do hope and intend to work with you and relevant members of congress on a way to solve this problem. this is a problem that results from legislation that was enacted with good intent back in 1990 and 1994 when the world was a very different place. the process of pursuing a negotiated two-state solution was in a very different place. and in fact, the legislation at that point had a deterrent effect as intended.
it no longer does. the palestinians and the rest of the world knew about our legislative restrictions before they took the vote in unesco. we have actively and aggressively made sure before and after that vote that they understand the consequences should the palestinians go to other organizations. we have every expectation that should the palestinians take that decision, the legislation won't deter the majority of member states in the united nations from voting them in. so we end up potentially on the outside of critical organizations like the world health organization, the iaea, organizations that manifestly serve the interests of the united states and protect our citizens. we need to rethink that. we need to find ways to ensure that it is the palestinians, if they pursue this path, that suffer the consequences, rather than the united states of america. >> and what consequences would you suggest? >> madam chairman, this is
something that i think would be something we ought to discuss with other responsible members of the administration, including at the state department. you have legislation that you enacted in december that already puts in place consequences that i think are meaningful and that i believe have gotten the palestinians' attention, including funding limitations for them if they continue on this path, including potential consequences for their mission here in washington. those kinds of things are steps that the palestinians will have to weigh as they make their calculations. but they don't harm us directly. they don't prevent us from advancing american interests in critical organizations. >> i understand. mrs. lowey. >> thank you very much. before i go on to another area, the next target for the p.a. seems to be the world health organization. and i wonder if you can comment
on that and how real it is and what is the state department doing to prevent the palestinians from further pushing their membership request at the u.n. >> well, let me refer both to the world health organization and other potential steps. the reality is, congress woman lowey, we don't know for sure. i'm not even sure the palestinians know for sure what their next steps may be. as you know, they made the decision back in september to present a membership application to the united nations security council. that issue was discussed and dealt with through the normal channels. but through diplomatic efforts led by the united states, it became clear to the palestinians over time that not only would they not succeed in their application because the united states would oppose it, but they did not have the nine affirmative votes that would be necessary for that application to be approved by the security council even in the ab